Released By: Scarlet Records
Release Date: March 22nd, 2019
Genre: Power Metal
Giada “Jade” Etro – Vocals
Federico Mondelli – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Talia Bellazecca – Guitars
Filippo Zavattari – Bass
Alberto Mezzanotte – Drums
1. Arctic Gales
3. In the Dark
4. Battles in the Night
7. Lost in Time
8. The Wolf and the Maiden
11. Crowned in Frost
Some bands like to waste very little time in between albums, looking to pump out some great new music at a quick rate, to please existing fans and possibly to gain some more. One such band is Italian power metal band Frozen Crown, who introduced themselves to the world in February of 2018, with their excellent debut, The Fallen King. It was a very fun and exciting album, with a mix of speedy, melodic power metal and some strong melodic death metal elements on a few tracks. Barely over a year later, the band is back with their second full-length release, Crowned in Frost, which sees the band focusing their sound a bit while continuing to deliver more of the same great music as on their debut.
The Fallen King was an impressive debut, both for how great it sounded for a new band, as well as for how strong the songwriting was, with a nice variety of tracks that hinted at a few possible directions the band could take. Crowned in Frost has a similar sound, with the same style of fast-paced, melodic power metal, led by the strong voice of frontwoman Giada “Jade” Etro, as well as the excellent guitar and keyboard playing of Federico Mondelli, who also serves as a second vocalist and the main songwriter. Fans of the debut should know what to expect from the performances, as the keys are as dominant as ever, while occasionally leaning towards more of a symphonic feel, the guitars are very melodic, with some slight Iron Maiden influence, while occasionally getting a bit heavier, and Jade’s lead vocals are as deep and powerful as ever, while occasionally getting a bit lighter and higher pitched. The production quality is about the same as the debut, with the mixing being a bit on the loud and thin side, though everything sounds pretty good, overall.
The biggest difference between the two albums comes from the songwriting. Where the debut had quite a bit of variety, Crowned in Frost feels like a more focused album, where the majority of songs all follow a specific direction, with the only real exceptions being the intro and interlude tracks. The tracklisting is a tad misleading, in that it makes it seem like the album should have one more song than the debut, but in truth, it actually has one less. This is because, out of the 11 tracks, one is an intro and two are instrumental interludes. The intro track is very nice, with a bit of that Maiden-like guitar work setting things up nicely for the true opener, “Neverending”, but the two interludes are a bit less exciting, with “The Wolf and the Maiden” in particular lasting for over three minutes, yet it’s an entirely soft, ambient track, mostly consisting of light keys (as well as a wolf howl, right at the start.) The track is okay, but it feels drawn out, and because it and the other (similar, but much shorter) interlude, “Enthroned”, are the only real changes of pace on the album, as opposed to the wide variety of tracks found on the debut, it ends up feeling a bit disappointing.
With that one negative out of the way, though, all full-length songs here are excellent, starting with opener and lead single “Neverending”, which has a fast-paced, extended instrumental opening, before Jade takes over during the verses, and the song flies along at a rapid pace, leading to a very melodic and catchy choruses, with some excellent vocal hooks. It’s a very speedy, very fun track, with an excellent guitar solo in the second half, and it’s a great indication of the direction the band has taken on this album. Next are two similar tracks, “In the Dark” and “Battles in the Night”, with the former alternating nicely between very fast verses and a slow, but beautiful chorus, with the highlight being a very rare clean vocal section from Federico, whose clean vocals are otherwise largely relegated to serving as vocal harmonies, while the latter stays at a fast pace throughout, and has a nice solo in the second half.
The first of two longer tracks on the album is “Winterfall”. It’s a very epic track, where the keys have a slight symphonic feel to them, while the guitar work is a bit heavier and harder hitting at times, while at other points it switches to some of those epic Maiden style galloping riffs, with the vocal melodies also have a strong Maiden influence. It’s a very epic, fast-paced and melodic track, overall, and it’s one of the two tracks here to feature some of Federico’s intense, powerful harsh vocals. They come in quick bursts throughout the track, with Jade leading the way through most of it, but the harsh vocals are very effective and help make the track even more epic than it otherwise would have been.
Moving into the second half, “Unspoken” is another speedy, but pretty light track, with small traces of that classic heavy metal sound to the guitars, though for the most part, it’s a more modernized, melodic track, which reminds me a bit of some Temperance tracks, particularly with the trance-like keys, and the chorus. It’s a very fun track, overall. Next is the lightest full song on the album, “Lost in Time”, which is a bit slower and more keyboard driven than all the other songs here, though it still moves at a pretty fast pace, and it still has some nice guitar work. It also has some amazing vocals, as Jade sings a bit lighter and at a slightly higher pitch than normal, but she completely nails it, especially during the amazing, super melodic and catchy chorus, which only gets better during the amazing final run. It’s the most accessible track here, as well as one of my favorites.
In between the two previously mentioned interludes is “Forever”, another fast-paced and very melodic track, with some epic backing vocal harmonies from Federico, as well as another excellent chorus, and a great guitar solo in the second half. Closing out the album is the title track, which is another speedy, hard-hitting track, which moves at a blistering pace early on, alternating nicely between clean and harsh vocals, before slowing down for an epic, very beautiful chorus. It’s a track that alternates very nicely between fast and slow passages throughout, as well as making equally great use of Jade’s smooth and powerful clean vocals, and Federico’s intense harsh vocals. It brings back a bit of the melodeath elements from the debut and is definitely one of my favorites here.
Overall, Crowned in Frost is an excellent sophomore release from Frozen Crown, even if I feel it could have been slightly better. It’s clear the band has figured their sound out at this point, and the more focused power metal sound works very well for the band, while allowing Jade to fully take over the leading role, as she deserves, but it also still gives space for Federico to occasionally come in with his own excellent vocals. However, the lack of variety is a bit disappointing, and I’m not too pleased by the fact that 3/11 tracks are purely instrumental, with the intro being the only one that fully works, and doesn’t feel distracting. Overall, though, it’s an excellent release, which should please fans of the debut, and I’d definitely recommend it to any power metal fan looking for a great release, with some excellent, melodic guitar work, some great, epic keys, and some excellent female vocals. I think the band still has room for improvement, but they continue to show promise, and while I slightly prefer The Fallen King, both of their albums so far have been excellent.
Written by: Travis Green
My Global Mind – Staff Writer
Travis Green is a Canadian based writer for My Global Mind, with a particular passion for power metal, as well as an interest metal in all its forms.